Dog Training - Building Interior Smell Detection ExercisesDog Training - Building Interior Smell Detection Exercises

While conducting building interior smell detection exercises, the dog is required to examine the walls in a sequential clock-wise manner. Therefore, as you begin this training the smell and dummy should be concealed in the wall at a location near the floor where he can easily and quickly detect the odour and gain his reward. These initial exercises will allow the dog to quickly associate detecting smell odours in an environment like this and stimulate him to hunt for them when inside a 'building. Again, you must be very careful not to require the dog to examine areas where there is smell "dead scent' present. However, if he does respond to a 'dead scent' from a smell, he must be praised and encouraged to continue to search, otherwise he will become very confused.

After you have conducted a few basic exercises and the dog is performing successfully, then various degrees of difficulty should be gradually injected into the training. For example, the distance from the wall before detecting the smell odour should be increased. The smell should be arbitrarily concealed at various levels in the wall, but always where the dog can detect and trace the odour. As you start concealing the smell at higher levels, the dog may be required to examine the wall twice before he can detect the odour. The first time he should examine the lower level, then the second time he must be encouraged to examine the higher level. This can be done by the handler encouraging the dog to "jump up' and examine specific areas that are being pointed out to him.

Another excellent method when you gradually increase the difficulty in the exercises is after the smell and dummy have been placed in the wall, staple a piece of cardboard over the hole. This will limit the amount of odour that is available for the dog to detect, thus requiring him to examine the wall very closely. Also, after it is detected, you can stimulate the dog's aggressive attitude toward the smell by encouraging him to tear the cardboard away and retrieve the dummy. When conducting exercises such as these you should staple other pieces of cardboard on the wall at various locations. Otherwise the dog will start 'keying' on the one piece of cardboard and possibly tear it off, even though there may not be a smell at that location.

After success has been achieved in several of the more difficult exercises, then you should advance to smell detection training in the interior of occupied buildings. These buildings, such as offices, schools, dormitories and most important houses should include furniture, storage items or other similar objects that possess all of the human scents of occupied facilities.

During this phase of training the dog will encounter many different odours which, to some degree, the dog's scent discrimination ability will be increased, as he is required to detect and respond to a smell odour among various other odours. Also, you must realise the air currents are going to be much different because of the presence of furniture, etc., and possibly various types of ventilation.
Remember, in all situations the training exercises must be a challenge to the dog, but something he enjoys and can accomplish with a minimal of assistance from the handler.

by David Coax
References and Bibliography
K9 DOG OBEDIENCE TRAINING,Australia provides Dog Training and Dog Training Online services located on the Central Coast, 35 Minutes from Sydney and 45 Minutes from Newcastle.
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